Interview: WTO needs innovative, pragmatic approach under political impetus, says Moldovan candidate


by Chen Jin, Lin Huifen

BUCHAREST, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — The World Trade Organization (WTO) system is at a crossroad and requires a new, innovative and pragmatic approach supported by a strong political push to reinvigorate the multilateral trade system and achieve results, Tudor Ulianovschi, Moldova’s candidate for WTO director-general, has told Xinhua.

To achieve these objectives, the next director-general needs to make efforts to rebuild trust among WTO members and generate the necessary political will to relaunch the negotiation process within the WTO, Ulianovschi said.

“For my role as the future director-general of the WTO, I bring a 3D vision and approach,” namely direct access to ministers and political decision-makers, dialogue and discussions with Geneva-based ambassadors and driving the work of the WTO management and Secretariat, said the diplomat, who served as Moldovan foreign minister from 2018 to 2019.

The WTO is a member-driven organization and decisions on rule-making and implementation have to be made by members, he said, adding that a stable forum for negotiations among members is needed.

“On a more conceptual level, we need to think of modernizing the global trade agenda, upgrade it, so it responds better and faster to 21st-century challenges,” he said.

Ulianovschi also put forward four priorities at the strategic level, including stopping any deterioration or decline of the multilateral trade system, starting negotiations on main issues within the WTO, focusing on smaller and incremental gains, and bringing together members to develop a long-term vision for the WTO reform.

This pandemic has shown what a world without international cooperation would look like. Disruptions at each step of the trade chain have to be resolved by states, be it bilaterally between neighbours, regionally or multilaterally, he said, also expressing his hope that this lesson has taught the world how valuable international cooperation is for the smooth movement of goods and services around the globe.

Ulianovschi said the world has entered a new post-pandemic era, where effects of the global economic crisis will be felt.

“That is why the WTO’s role should be further consolidated and its future director-general should actively engage and identify keys to win-win solutions, regardless of the level of tension or of the difficulty of the issues,” he added.

“I am energetic, active, with experience in politics, diplomacy, trade and in the private sector,” said the 37-year-old candidate, emphasizing his firm belief that any new crisis creates new paradigms of thought and generates new approaches towards processes that will produce results. Enditem


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